Wis. police: Scam in which people are tricked into calling 911 could affect emergency response

  • Article by: Associated Press
  • Updated: April 11, 2014 - 11:47 AM

MILWAUKEE — Police in southeastern Wisconsin are warning residents of a scam that causes them to call 911 unintentionally.

Police Chief Edward Flynn said his department took "dozens" of 911 calls since Friday at 8 a.m.

He says callers are responding to texts and recorded phone calls telling them there's a problem with their debit or credit cards. The messages advise them to press 1 or dial 112. But when they do they're actually calling 911.

Flynn says it's unclear whether the scammer is trying to overwhelm the emergency system, or somehow make money through unauthorized charges. Either way, he says anyone who receives such a message should ignore it.

He says the issue has been reported in Milwaukee County and Waukesha. He says emergency responses haven't been delayed yet, but it could happen.

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